S-STEM Watershed Scholars Program

Interested in earning a master’s degree focused on watershed sciences? SIUE departments of Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Civil Engineering, in collaboration with the SIUE STEM Center, are pleased to offer the S-STEM Watershed Scholars program to SIUE graduate students pursuing their master’s degree in a STEM discipline with a research focus on sustainable watersheds.

As an S-STEM Watershed Scholar, you will receive a tuition waiver and a $10,000 scholarship for each of the two years of your master’s degree. You will also receive funds to support your research and attend a professional conference where you can present your thesis research. The S-STEM Watershed Scholars program also offers a number of student and career development workshops including: research support workshops, career panels, and guest presentations from local and national watershed scientists. These workshops will be designed with the Scholars’ interests at the forefront.

Eligibility: To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or admitted refugee. You must also have an income of $22,540 or less at the start date of the program (first date of the semester when you start your degree program).

How to apply:

  • Apply to the degree program in which you hope to pursue your master’s degree (Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, or Civil Engineering) at SIUE.
  • Submit a FAFSA.
  • Submit a Watershed Scholar application. The application requests an unofficial transcript from the institution where you received your most advanced degree or where you received your degree that is most relevant to the S-STEM program; a statement of interest (250 – 500 words) that describes your prior research experiences (not required for the program) and your interest in watershed science research; and basic demographic information.

Application deadline: The S-STEM selection committee will begin reviewing applications on March 31, 2022, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis thereafter if funding is available. To apply to the S-STEM Watershed Scholars program, you must also apply for admissions to a graduate program in Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or Civil Engineering at SIUE. Check departmental webpages for graduate school admission deadlines.

Questions: Contact Dr. Adriana Martinez, adrmart@siue.edu.

Project Personnel

Dr. Adriana E. Martinez, associate professor of geography and environmental sciences, is an expert in fluvial geomorphology and human impacts on rivers. She is a certified drone pilot and uses the program Agisoft Metashape and an sUAS to develop 3D point clouds, aerial photos, and digital elevation models of landforms.

Dr. Alan Black, assistant professor of geography, is a meteorologist, climatologist, and expert on atmospheric hazards, climate, climate change, and the impact of these on society. He was previously program manager and an instructor for the Disaster Science and Management program at Louisiana State University, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security funded project focused on building a diverse workforce.

Dr. Carol E. Colaninno, research assistant professor at the STEM Center, examines relationships between humans and riverine systems from a deep-time perspective. Her research focuses on the identification of animal remains from archaeological deposits that serve as a proxy for past environmental conditions.

Dr. Sharon M. Locke, professor of environmental sciences and director of the SIUE STEM Center, conducts research in environmental and earth science education. Her areas of interest include studying models of field-based and outdoor learning;  measuring interest and attitudes towards science and the environment; and (3) understanding how sense of place shapes our perceptions of natural areas. She also has interests in long-term changes in watershed hydrology, with a particular focus on surface water-groundwater interactions.

Dr. Rohan Benjankar, assistant professor of civil engineering, focuses on the interactions between hydrology, water quality, and ecosystems, which includes stream flow modeling to analyze aquatic and riparian ecosystems, fluvial geomorphology, surface and subsurface hydrology, and habitat and ecosystems restoration.

Dr. Tom Anderson, assistant professor of biology,  has research interests investigating factors that structure communities in freshwater ecosystems, particularly ponds and other wetlands within watersheds. Much of Anderson’s work focuses on intra- and interspecific competition with amphibians and aquatic invertebrates as study organisms.

Dr. Paul Brunkow, associate professor of biology, has a research focus in aquatic ecology and evolutionary ecology. Brunkow is particularly interested in understanding the functional morphology of freshwater taxa such as snails, fishes, and amphipods, and how morphology can affect evolutionary processes.

Dr. Shunfu Hu, professor in geography, uses a variety of techniques including GIS, remote sensing, and hydrologic modeling to examine how land use and land cover influence watershed characteristics such as peak discharge and sediment load. In the past few years, Dr. Hu has been working with graduate students in environmental sciences on watershed research in southern Illinois.

Dr. Kevin Tucker, assistant professor of chemistry, focuses on the detection of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in waterways. His research focuses on understanding how environmental levels of various compounds interact with geographical features and the biological effects.

This S-STEM is supported by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program DUE Award No. 2130471. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation. Image is by Howard Ash.